23 Jul 2024


It could take 3 years for gears market to recover from 7% fall

The time it takes for the global market for geared motors and industrial gearboxes to recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic will vary for different technologies

The global market for industrial gearboxes and geared motors has dropped by more than 7% this year as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, and it could take until 2022 for sales to recover to their 2019 levels, according to a new report from Interact Analysis.

The decline in market this year is resulting in short-term difficulties for manufacturers, the report says. However, it expects a period of sustained recovery and growth through 2021 and 2022, with slower growth in the subsequent period to 2024. It suggests that the need for more automated and flexible equipment in a post-Covid industrial landscape will be a major driver of this demand.

In terms of technologies, geared motors will see the fastest recovery, with a CAGR of 3.6%. This will be driven, in part, by end-users increasingly seeing the benefits of buying packaged systems from one vendor. Heavy-duty gearboxes will continue to be the second-largest gearbox market, but growth in this area is predicted to be slow, with a CAGR of 0.9% over the period to 2024. These products depend on industries such as metals and mining which have seen severe Covid-induced dips in output and will take longer to recover.

The report predicts a boom in sales of gear products for use in the logistics, and food and beverage, sectors as rapidly increasing e-commerce and automation create a growing demand for conveyors and packaging machinery – two of the largest markets for industrial gearboxes.

By contrast, because of how the aerospace and automotive sectors have suffered during the pandemic, sales of geared motors for use in these sectors will be slow to recover.

“Lighter-duty geared motor and solo gearbox products will recover more quickly than heavier-duty products,” predicts Interact’s lead analyst, Tim Dawson. “These solutions tend to be used more extensively in machinery sectors and end-user industries that have been less impacted by the pandemic.

“Some industries – such as warehousing and logistics – have been positively stimulated by the virus,” he adds, “and are increasing investment in automated machinery incorporating geared equipment in response to high e-commerce demand, and the need to reduce the human workforce to enforce social distancing. This last factor is a significant driver of growth we would never even have conceived of six months ago. Such is the changing world we live in.”

The recovery in demand for geared motors and industrial gearboxes will vary from one region to another. Of the top ten global markets, China and India are predicted to lead the growth table. Although Germany coped relatively well with the pandemic, it will be the slowest market to recover, owing to its reliance on severely depleted export sales.

The report is based on research conducted from April to September 2020, involving more than 35 interviews with most of the world’s medium-to-large geared motor and industrial gearbox companies.